Drunkenness: what it is and how it affects us (JAVIER ARES) Drunkenness is one of those psychopathological disorders in which it is clear that two different disorders can reinforce each other. That is why, when faced with such mental health complications, it is essential to act quickly and seek professional help.
In this article we will see what are the main effects of drunkenness and why it is so harmful.
What is drunkenness?
Drunkenness is a psychological and psychiatric disorder for which People who develop a psychopathological obsession with losing weight or avoiding a lot of food also develop a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol.. In most cases, this results in people exhibiting the typical symptoms of anorexia or bulimia and who are also motivated at least in part by the idea of offsetting their propensity to drink too much alcohol (or too often).
In other words, drunkenness is a pattern of behavior and thought harmful to mental health because an action-reaction logic emerges between binge drinking and obsessive avoidance of adding calories.
The second is usually an “adjustment” made by the person following the first, not gain too much weight thanks to the calories gained from the drink; however, there are also cases of people who eat too little to get drunk sooner, or of people who, having a problem with alcohol addiction, decide to save as much as possible by reducing their food expenses.
However, since it is these other versions of drunkenness, the causes of the problem are quite different, and since it is a concept defined in diagnostic manuals such as the DSM-5, in practice, the term is often used to informally describe only the first of the behavioral patterns, showing a more symmetrical combination between substance abuse and usual eating disorders (ADD), bulimia and anorexia. Drunkenness has been shown to occur primarily in young women, which is consistent with the prevalence data for these two ADDs. Additionally, people who have developed an eating disorder are also known to have a much higher risk of developing an addiction problem.
How does drunkenness affect us?
As we have seen, drunkenness is not an “official” clinical entity that appears in diagnostic manuals used by psychotherapists or psychiatrists. However, it has become a useful concept which is used for pragmatic reasons, as it describes a reality which, although not yet well studied or described in theory, is present in the daily practice of mental health professionals.
In this sense, the main characteristics of drunkenness, the aspects in which its influence on people is noticeable, are as follows.
1. Dysfunctional dynamics of impulsivity and self-control
Drunkenness is given to a pattern of behavior characterized by the decompensation between the times of self-checking of the ferry and the times of disinhibition, something that also happens in bulimia. Thus, the person “flows” with his behavior in terms of health and calorie intake.
2. Feeling guilty
As we have seen, drunkenness has two apparently antagonistic components: the desire to control everything that is done, and, on the other hand, dependence on alcohol, a drug which, like all those that cause dependence , leads the person towards the short term and towards the urgent consumption of substances. This makes the person feel guilty as soon as they realize that they have given in to excess, and this source of discomfort, in turn, acts as fuel for this psychological disorder, generating a vicious circle.
3. Deepening of addiction and ADD
Regardless of the origin of drunkenness in each person, this disorder causes more and more addiction and eating disorders as time goes on because the two are mutually reinforcing.
4. Tendency to hide what is happening
Usually people suffering from drunkenness tend to assume that others do not understand them and that they need to hide their drinking and food problems so as not to have to overcome the obstacles of friends and family trying to prevent them from behaving like this (not to mention that they feel guilty and ashamed of what is happening to them, and try to keep a low profile in this area of their lives).
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Javier Ares Arranz
Javier Ares Arranz
Psychologist specializing in Depression, Anxiety and Couples.
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My name is Javier Ares and I am a general health psychologist specializing in emotional, anxiety and couple issues in adults and adolescents. I offer face-to-face sessions and also online by video call.